The labour market has been tough for everyone since the coronavirus pandemic impacted the job security of so many Australians. In a challenging economy, it is hard for anyone to find a job, but it’s especially difficult when you are older.
Regardless of your age, or how long you’ve been unemployed, there are steps that you can take to make yourself a more appealing candidate to the decision makers.
If you are a mature age job seeker, try some of these strategies to help you land your next job!
Don't Let Your Resume Date You
Your resume should list your name and contact information, work experience, education and any special certifications that pertain to the position for which you are applying. Including details such as your marital status, hobbies and age will quickly date your resume. Omit the dates that you attended college or university, especially if you were last enrolled over a decade ago.
If you have several decades of work history, try listing only the last 10-15 years of your work history on your resume, and only list experience that is relevant to the job for which you are applying. You will find more tips in our post called 5 Résumé Mistakes Mature Aged Workers Make.
In addition to having an up-to-date and professional resume, if you want to find a job in today’s economy you will want to “market” yourself online. Get started by creating a LinkedIn profile so that you can connect with colleagues and co-workers as well as learn more about prospective companies.
Networking is More Important than Ever
Networking is always important in the job market. Let others know that you are seeking a new position and ask them to let you know of openings and to put in a good word for you when they can.
If you haven’t already, consider joining an association that is involved in your current industry or the field that you would like to enter. Going to conferences and similar events will help you to meet others and make connections that could later result in opportunities to move into a new position.
If you are unemployed, consider voluntary work with an organisation in the field that interests you. This will give you the opportunity to meet new people, as well as help you to keep existing skills sharp, and pick up some new ones. It’s also possible that your volunteer position could unexpectedly turn into paid employment, so don’t neglect this opportunity to help your community while boosting your skills, experience and connections.
Take Proactive Steps to Reassure the Decision Maker
It’s expensive to hire and train a new employee, so many managers pass on hiring an older worker because they fear they will only work a short time before leaving to retire.
Other recruiters hesitate to hire older workers because of the misconception that older workers are “set” in their ways and might not get along with younger supervisors.
You can improve your chances of being hired for the job by taking steps to counteract these notions in both your cover letter and interview. Regardless of your age, reassure the decision maker that you are in good health and that you have no plans to retire.
As we said in an earlier post, remember to emphasize your accomplishments. Younger people may not be able to measure up against your proven track record. Make the point that your skill set and knowledge will be a benefit to the company.
Keep Your Skills Up to Date
There is myth that older workers are slower and less technologically savvy than their younger counterparts. Take steps to counteract this misconception by keeping your skills up to date, especially as they relate to living in a connected, digital world.
If you are not comfortable with the modern technology used in your chosen field or profession, consider taking courses at a local college to gain the skills that you need. You can also take classes online from popular sources such as Coursera and Udemy. These companies offer free and low cost courses in thousands of subjects to individuals all over the world.
Attitude is Everything
Having a positive attitude is very powerful. Candidates that are proactive, upbeat, engaged and have an energetic, “can-do” attitude are more likely to get hired, regardless of their age or experience level. When you discuss your past employment and other experiences, tackle it from a positive angle, no matter what happened.
Searching for employment can be a time-consuming task, especially for older workers, but following these strategies can make searching for your next job less stressful and more productive. The experienced Career Consultants at Resume for Results offer Job Search Advice to help you find and win the job you really want. Make an appointment now.
If you would like to know more about the writer, Anne-Marie Kane [click here].